Connectivism and Neurds

I am thinking that the verb “traverse” and the word “network” used by S. Downes when defining connectivism is not at all random.As he says:

Connectivism is the thesis that knowledge is distributed across a network of connections, and therefore that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks.

Studying L. Gabora’s Neurds she claims that:

the associative network (of though and memory) can be not just penetrated deeply, but traversed quickly, and there is greater potential for representations to “bleed” into one another in ways they never have before.

References

Downes, St., (2012). Connectivism and Connected Knowledge: Essays on meaning and learning networks, National Research Council Canada, Version 1.0 – May 19, 2012, ISBN: 978-1-105-77846-9, page 11.
Gabora, L. (2010). Revenge of the ‘neurds’: Characterizing creative thought in terms of
the structure and dynamics of human memory. Creativity Research Journal, 22(1), 1-13.

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Matters of Memory_Kandel’s “In search of Memory” Part A

Matters of memory and learning are at the epicentre of Kandel’s research. In bis book, “In Search of Memory ” he describes his experiments with Aplysia. In fact, it was through the experiments with Aplysia that led Kandel to realize that the number of synapses in the brain is not fixed -it changes with learning!

Consistent with the one-process theory, the same site can give rise to both short-term and long-term memory in habituation and sensitization. Moreover, in each case a change in synaptic strength occurs. But consistent with the two-process theory, the mechanisms of short- and long-term change are fundamentally different. Short-term memory produces a change in the function of the synapse, strengthening or weakening preexisting connections; long-term memory requires anatomical changes. Repeated sensitization training (practice) causes neurons to grow new terminals, giving rise to long-term memory, whereas habituation causes neurons to retract existing terminals. Thus, by producing profound structural changes, learning can make inactive synapses active or active synapses inactive. (page 126)

Kandel, E. R., 2006, In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind, Book available here

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Matters of Memory_Eric Kadel and CPEB3 Prions

kandealneuron2

(Credit: Lab of David Sulzer, PhD, Columbia University Medical Center)

The authors argue that the long term mice memories are preserved with Prions (protein infectious particles). Although regular prions cause damage to the cells there is a type of prions identified in mice as CPEB3 that work inside the neurons to maintain long-term memories.

Prion aggregates renew themselves by continually recruiting newly made soluble prions into the aggregates. “This ongoing maintenance is crucial,” said Dr. Kandel. “It’s how you remember, for example, your first love for the rest of your life.”

This discovery, states Kandel in his “In Search of Memory”, raised the intriguing possibility—so far only that—that spatial maps may become fixed when an animal’s attention triggers the release of dopamine in the hippocampus and that dopamine initiates a selfperpetuating state also mediated by CPEB.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ATTENTION IN STABILIZING THE SPATIAL MAP raises another question: Is the spatial map, a map formed by learning, similar in all of us? Specifically, do men and women use the same strategies to find their way around an environment? (…) Gender differences in forming the spatial map take on additional significance when considered in a broader context: To what degree do men’s and women’s brain structures and cognitive styles differ? Are those differences innate, or do they stem from learning and socialization?

References

Long-term Memories Are Maintained by Prion-like Proteins, Article Published in July 2, 2015, Full article available here

Kandel, E. R., 2006, In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind, Book available here
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ADDIE, OCL, CBL, CP, AD Teaching Methodologies

ADDIE-infographic

This is an interactive infographic. To see more detail on each of the five stages, click on each stage in the graphic
© Flexible Learning Australia, 2014

The categorization follows Bate’s list in “Teaching in the Digital Era”

ADDIE

  • Analyze_all variable that need to be considered
  • Design_identify learning objectives, content & technology to be used
  • Develop_creation of content, copyright clearance, loading of content into a web site
  • Implement_deliver the course, support & assess students
  • Evaluate_get feedback and make changes where needed for next iteration

OCL

In this model students are encouraged and supported to work together WITH a teacher at a key role not as a fellow learner but as a link to the knowledge community. Learning is conceptual change.

CBL

In competency based learning learners develop skills by working with a mentor. This model attempts to help students escape the parameter of learning at the same time as others.

CP

For Communities of Practice please check: https://ioannouolga.wordpress.com/2016/05/22/communities-of-practice-as-social-learning-systems/

AGILE DESIGN

There is no single approach to this design. It means exposing students to less certain knowledge and providing them with the skills, practice and feedback to assess and evaluate the knowldge then apply to rreal world problems.

Bates states that: ” If ADDIE is a 100-piece orchestra, with a complex score and long rehearsals, then agile design is a jazz trio who get together for a single performance then break up until the next time”

Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for Teaching and Learning – See more at: http://www.tonybates.ca/teaching-in-a-digital-age/#sthash.QUZ8ZKXz.dpuf
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Turning in-class lectures to online content

FIGURE 04 PLATFORM SNAPSHOT

Determining the duration of the online videos of our course was a major step in its production. Before shooting the videos, we gathered all the lecturing content of each unit and collaborated with each lecturer to transform it into online material. Having read Guo’s article on video production we figured that content had to be condensed in 30 to 40 minute long lectures and further dismantled to max 7 minute self-contained videos. That is videos whose content could be seen independently and whose contribution to the meaning of the main core of the lecture content could be evaluated autonomously.  (For more please check my article in “The Creativity Game – Theory and Practice of Spatial Planning”: DOI 10.15292/IU-CG.2015.03.30-37)

In addition we used highlighted text to make terms and definitions stand out of the narration and we’ve also included images and diagrams of the narration of the specific entities of meaning we were presenting at the time. We also uploaded the transcript of each segment so that students who were engaging in the content for the first time could also follow the narration by reading it.

The effectiveness of lectures was also examined by Donald A. Bligh in his book “What is the Use of Lectures” (analyzed further by Tony Bates in his “Teaching in a Digital Age”), and he also supports the notion that lectures “should not be longer than 20 to 30 minutes – at least without techniques to vary stimulation”.

Our primary aim was to present those units as an expert’s insight on a subject matter. Each lecturer provided the students with a unique tool for urban mapping both in terms of content and representation. Therefore, the process involved more than the sole transmission of content; it was configured to describe a specific mode of thinking about the city.

Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for Teaching and Learning – See more at: http://www.tonybates.ca/teaching-in-a-digital-age/#sthash.QUZ8ZKXz.dpuf
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Five Theories of Learning

  1. Objectivism_the truth outside the human mind
  2. Behaviourism_(1920’s) stems from an objectivist epistemological position that states that certain aspects of human behaviour are capable of direct observation and measurement and can become associated in a mechanistic and invariant way with specific stimuli. its influence is strong in corporate or military training [remember B.F.Skinner 1954)
  3. Cognitivism_(Bloom et al 1956) taxonomies of learning objectives related to different kinds of learning skills: cognitive (thinking), affective (feeling), psycho-motor (doing). Learners need to progress through each of the levels from remembering to understanding, to applying, to analyzing, to evaluating and finally to creating.
  4. Constructivism_emphasizes on the importance of conciousness, free will and social influences, knowledge is subjective in nature, constructed from our perceptions and it works best through social interaction. Each individual is unique, behaviour is not deterministic and learning is a social process requiring communication.
  5. Connectivism_(Downes & Siemens) it is the collective connections between all the nodes in a network that result in new forms of knowledge, knowledge is constantly shifting and changing. It is chaotic and not controlled. The main purpose of a teacher appears to be to provide the initial learning environment and context that brings learners together, and to help learners construct their own personal learning environments that enable them to connect to ‘successful’ networks, with the assumption that learning will automatically occur as a result, through exposure to the flow of information and the individual’s autonomous reflection on its meaning.

Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for Teaching and Learning – See more at: http://www.tonybates.ca/teaching-in-a-digital-age/#sthash.QUZ8ZKXz.dpuf

Moore & Kearsley’s 12 principles for evaluating course design

  1. Good Structure_well defined+consistent
  2. Clear Objectives_suitable learning experiences
  3. Small Units_single instructional objective or activity
  4. Planned participation_opportunities for student interaction
  5. Completeness_commentaries, examples should be provided
  6. Repetition_Reinforce important ideas
  7. Synthesis_ Important ideas woven together
  8. Stimulation_varied formats, content, guest participation
  9. Variety_format and media, backgrounds, learning styes
  10. Open-ended_allow students to adapt the content to their own situations
  11. Feedback_regularon assignments and progress
  12. Continual (not continuous) evaluation_routinely assess the materials, media and instructional strategies through a variety of methods

 

References

Mc VAy Lynch, M., 2005, ‘The Online Educator’, London: Routledge (1st ed. 2002), extract from page 132, chapter: “Evaluating students and programs”